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Lecture

POL201Y1 Lecture Notes - Infant Mortality, Negative Liberty


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL201Y1
Professor
Sophia Moreau

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We classify the world as development and democracy. Development is the movement
from a trade/agro society toward markets and exchange of goods. Countries at higher
levels of development are wealthier, and countries move toward development. But there
are critics of development, the main reasons are 1) as societies develop, people lose
some of their traditions or customs 2) the development model seems to presume that
countries follow the Western path from agro to industrial to post-industrial, service
economy 3) the goal of development implies the goal of wealth creation (as
development is judged on GMP, which is directly associated with a countries wealth).
Wealth is only desirable if it increases standard of living, like healthcare.
We shouldn!t measure GNP alone, development should also reflect human well being
(infant mortality, access to healthcare and drinking water). This changes the scale on
which countries rank as far as developed. Some theories go further, and also include
freedom. A country can thus be wealthy, and provide physical protection, but if the
society does not allow freedom, then it no longer ranks the same as far as being
developed. You can make the definition of development thin, with only GNP… or thick,
with other factors added.
This class assumes that all countries are at some stage of development, and does not
focus on the global south. This class examines how we use the lens of development to
look at the world, and a view of those countries that are looked at as failures when seen
through that lens.
Development in one country requires exploitation, and results in the under development
or impoverishment of another country.
Democracy is widely considered to be a good think. There are also thin and thick
definitions of democracy. Simple definition is free and fair elections. People can vote for
whoever they want, and the person with the most votes gets into office. A more complex
definition like civil freedoms: freedom of expression, freedom of action… freedom
without interference from the state (negative freedom). You can also add equality… one
person, one vote. Each person has a voice, and each voice is equal and just as
powerful. If you have economic inequality, then you often have political inequality. The
entire social fabric needs to be democratic.
Constitiutions work to control the majority.
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